Education at IITs now closer at hand for foreign students

In a meeting recently held between Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials and Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) officials, it has been finalised that the entrance exams for admission to IITs will also be held in foreign countries. For the first time, JEE Advanced will be held in Singapore, Ethiopia, UAE and the SAARC nations (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal). This is a joint endeavour of the MHRD, MEA and IITs to buoy India’s position in international academic rankings.

Till the current academic year, the JEE was conducted for Indian nationals only. This new arrangement is the first step towards reaching out to more undergraduate and post graduate foreign students. IIT Bombay is bestowed with the responsibility to prepare the essential information for this transcend. A detailed plan for conducting GATE and JEE exams abroad is to be made and submitted to the committee by IIT-Bombay Director, Professor Khakhar. A web portal with FAQs, test and course details has to be braced soon to get through to maximum people in these eight nations. With the exam to be conducted in 2017, the promulgation has to start by the end of July, 2016. The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) is accredited as the nodal agency for the exams on behalf of MEA. The tests will be conducted and checked by IITs with significant collaboration with Indian missions in these countries.

A comprehensive report on a new system to attract international applications to IITs was prepared by the IIT-Madras Director. It is a relief to Indian students that those number of seats for foreign applications will be supplementary and will not be whittled down from the already available seats for Indian nationals. It was also decided that the foreign applicants have to fork over more with the subsidised fee structure applicable only to Indian students. With more students applying abroad and only a handful foreign student applications for the premier institutes of India, it is high time a giant leap was taken to make necessary amendments in prevailing educational scenario in the nation. With the native students assured of not losing their space in these institutes and the entrance tests conducted and checked in foreign countries, this might prove to be epochal.

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